We live in a society that is quite affected by new diseases such as burnout, depression and fatigue within the last decades.
That does not mean that people have become lazier or less stress resistant in general.
It signals that the workloads upon people have increased with less time to complete. Technology and increasing competition force people to be on top of the “food chain” of their industry, which leads to expectations of dealing with more new skills and tasks to keep up with what is expected from them in their work environment.
The result is that people are starting to feel overwhelmed until they cannot focus or deal with the amount of work, taking the emotional stress of lacking accomplishments home and start fighting with the ones they love most due to psychological exhaustion.
At one point in time, they need to decide: do I want to stay in this environment of overwhelming stress with toxic thoughts about my skills, abilities and capacities, or do I quit and start something new?
The problem in this decisional process is that many people are instinctively afraid of starting something new, so they rather stick to what they are used to – Stress.
Finally, they must (!) leave work on sick leave. Diagnose: Burnout. They have not been taking care of themselves and leave a possibly frustrated management behind – another person less to count on.
Here comes the stinging truth about WHY it happened: it’s the leadership’s fault.
The impersonal process of workforce diction is not even in the management’s hands anymore. The team leader, manager or director hardly juggles himself the amount of work that is falling onto him, regardless of the consequences it has on the entire workforce.
Why is it then the upper hierarchy’s fault when they are helpless themselves, you may ask?
The leadership’s task is leading by example and to ensure corporate health by taking care of the psychological hygiene in the environment providing services in the company’s name.
Only satisfied and happy people can make happy customers.
When you think people are less valuable when they cannot accomplish what you want them to do, think again – it might reflect what you seed.
So, as a leader, look after your people and make sure they feel appreciated and able to fulfill the needs of customers and your leadership without forcing them to late nights and weekend work. (Who knows, they might want to do it anyway when they love what they do.)
Having something accomplished at work and being successful with the way they go is the best reward for people and nothing that money can buy.
And sometimes it is, for you as a leader, simply saying “No” to a customer’s requirement if it exceeds the capacity of your workforce in order to keep your people in that valuated place.
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